Alumnus using skills to prevent, treat brain injuries

July 31, 2018

Matt Mills '11 works on virtual reality technology.

One athletic training alumnus is helping prevent and treat an epidemic plaguing athletes in programs — big and small — across America.

As director of customer success at SyncThink, a neurotechnology company, in Palo Alto, California, Matt Mills ’11 designed and implemented the customer journey. The company specializes in eye-tracking technology embedded in virtual reality headsets that detect motor-impairment following an impact.

“It allows clinicians to determine exactly where someone's impairment lies, and thus target their treatment,” Mills explained.

Mills first developed his passion for combating traumatic brain injuries as president of Quinnipiac’s Athletic Training Club, where he led The Walk for Thought fundraiser for the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut, which raised the most money in its history.

“Matt put 100% of himself into everything,” said Susan Norkus, professor of athletic training and sports medicine in our School of Health Sciences. “If he felt strongly about a cause, he’d make an impact.”

School of Health Sciences

This trait helped Mills secure a summer internship with the sports medicine staff at Stanford University in California in 2010. Stanford offered Mills his first full-time job in 2013, and he quickly rose to associate athletic trainer and director of Stanford’s athletic training fellowship. It was in these roles caring for Stanford’s athletes that he first used the innovative technology that became EYE-SYNC.

“I got to use it as it was being developed,” Mills said. “When SyncThink went commercial, I was able to join their team to help explain its clinical utility.”

Today, as director of customer success at SyncThink’s California office, Mills’ many roles include the training, education and deployment of EYE-SYNC. Despite the rigors of his job, he still finds time to attend national conventions. These allow him to connect with the newest alumni of Quinnipiac’s athletic training program.

Mills always reminds recent graduates to integrate the latest break-throughs in medical treatment and technology.

“You need to cultivate a thirst for knowledge and growth,” he said. “Learn as much as you can from as many people as you can.

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